The Taste of Summer: What Says "Summer" to You?

The first strawberries? A simple gin and tonic on the porch? Clambakes on the beach? What is the one food that for you signals that summer has officially arrived?

For us, the taste of summer has got to be basil. We literally lean over the cutting board and inhale its aroma in deep breaths as we chop. All summer long, we add ribbons of basil to everything from salads and pasta dishes to bruschetta and fresh cocktails. Cooking with summer basil is not quite like cooking with basil any other time of the year.

Second to this would be grilling - anything grilled! Again, it's the smell of the barbecue that does it for us first, but this is quickly followed by that signature smoky flavor and crunchiness that can only come from cooking over a high-heat open flame grill.

What about you?

Related: Summer Entertaining: Garden Entertaining Tips

(Image: Flickr member bensonkua licensed under Creative Commons)